Talk:1586: Keyboard Problems

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

Possible reference to server problems comic? (1084) 162.158.90.210 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

For a risk of sounding mundane, similar symptoms can occur with keyboard breadcrumb syndrome, when someone eats too much bread at the computer, and their keyboard keeps getting hit with crumbs. As said someone is unlikely to change their habits unless they're made aware of the true reason for their problem, it would indeed follow them from computer to computer (because they keep getting crumbs on keyboards), as well as on the same keyboard (because it's getting full of crumbs).
(Did I just make up the name "keyboard breadcrumb syndrome"? The syndrome itself must be common, but I couldn't think of any other name for it. Also, OTT purists will now probably come and start berating me for not using the word "leopard".) 141.101.80.59 09:38, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Not just bread though, could be other foods. Like Doritos! XY007 (talk) 09:39, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
You do not want to see this keyboard I'm typing on (there's a lot of my hair in the gaps), that I've used so long that not only have some of the commoner keyfaces worn off, but the plastic has worn through to the voids beneath two of them ('S' and the down-cursor). But it works, and only I will ever use it.
OTOH, I've had to clean far newer desktop keyboards in the past that one could hear an 'avalanche' inside if you lifted it up and tilted it back and forth. Upon opening up the casing, this was proven to be small clear-white crystals, hypothesised as either refined sugar (e.g. from countless donuts, eaten at the keyboard, or perhaps sugar spilt on the way to a coffee cup) or salt (either food-grade salt, or accumulating from 'sweaty fingers'). No, no-one tried tasting it to determine which. If either! 141.101.98.159 22:20, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Certainly a case of Pauli effect. 162.158.90.210 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

This is also partly a reference older comics where Cueball faces wierd technical issues like in 1084:Server problem and 1316:Inexplicable

I do believe Randall draw it with Cueball's mysterious ability to break computers, but it seems something like badUSB exploit IMHO. While it's extremely difficult to perform, it attacks on firmware part of USB and it is possible to spread via USB *ports* and *devices* 162.158.6.169 13:39, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

"followed Cueball since his last computer" I don't think Cueball changed the keyboard. --199.27.133.160 15:31, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

This was my interpretation, actually. I thought the joke was that Cueball changed the computer expecting it to be a software issue when the problem was with the keyboard hardware itself. But then the last panel doesn't make as much sense. Enchantedsleeper (talk) 23:43, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

The first sentence in the explaination currently: This comic is about how computer problems appear with no obvious cause. Even technically skilled people often find themselves powerless to diagnose the problem, and resort to tricks and quirks to solve or circumvent the problem without really understanding how or why the trick should work. refers to 1479:Troubleshooting not really this comic. I would consider striking. The comic is not about skilled people finding quirks to make things work; it is about those few 2.5%ers on the bell shaped curve who seem to always have the worst luck without any reprieve. This is also a plot point in the movie Frequencies. Good movie - check it out! --R0hrshach (talk) 15:43, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

I had a problem like this. It was a keyboard that would randomly input the string "welcome datacomp". I would end up with it in my documents. Here is a link to a usenet post about [that very problem](https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.comp.virus/Ju2qiWBcdnk). I spent a lot of time trying to track down the "virus" until it followed me to another Mac at which time I figured out it was the keyboard. 108.162.221.147 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I had this issue. I used to joke that my ex-friend Avi would "break my leopard" from Australia because the problem seemed to arise after I talked to him. My leopard would get keys that'd just suddenly stop working, and even with an external leopard, it didn't fix the issue. Or it did, for about a few minutes, and then somehow THAT leopard also got screwed up in the same way. I think I did some sort of factory reset on my computer , and it happened AGAIN. Then I switched laptops, and it happened YET AGAIN. What the fuck. Then I ended up breaking the leopard's hardware. Now I have another laptop and I'm hoping its beautiful, red-lit leopard, remains entirely functional. International Space Station (talk) 04:35, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Alternate option- He gets assimilated by the Borg, causing the entire collective to collapse in on itself within days. -Pennpenn 108.162.250.162 03:57, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Clearly Cueball has an external keyboard. That is broken, and carries it's brokenness around -vonbrand -- Vonbrand (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

A lot of parts of this explanation assume Cueball and Megan are incompetent. This doesn’t hold up, though: it isn’t a software problem because of the boot disc, and it isn’t a hardware problem because both computers are laptops and he almost certainly didn’t rip the old keyboard out of the old laptop and put it in the new one. It isn’t breadcrumbs either, because the external keyboard broke and he isn’t eating. When we’ve eliminated the impossible, all that remains are a stack of coincidences, a firmware virus, or Cueball being literally haunted (in decreasing order of probability). --162.158.78.154 18:07, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like it could be that two of his keyboards had the same problem. But if the other computers he tried to use his keyboard with start having that problem... the contagion is out there. 108.162.237.106 16:41, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

[edit] But Megan isn’t stupid!

The explanation as it stands suggests that Megan doesn’t understand the nature of a hardware versus software problem. However, Megan only states that she thinks it is a hardware problem *before* Cueball says that the problem followed him to another computer. All of her responses after that indicate that she’s given up trying to guess the issue because Cueball, probably due to his nature, always manages to get computers into weird messed up states (see already-referenced 1084, 1316). There’s no point in trying to solve computer problems for people like him because they always manage to mess things up or have inexplicable problems. (It’s not like their problems are beyond the realms of logic—just computer systems are so complex that it is impractical to attempt to enumerate all possible causes for a particular observed behavior.) So it’s natural that she gave up trying to solve his problem after the first panel. Binki (talk) 04:06, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?